Marseille started the game in force last round away at Reims and were clearly superior in the 1st half. Unfortunately they couldn’t keep up the high paced rythm in the 2nd half, got superficial and conceded first. Although it appeared Marseille were better, a draw was all they could get in the end (finished 1-1).
Defenders seem a bit soft at times, especially right fullback Fanni and central defender N’Koulou. The thing is they play next to each-other and Marseille’s overall ability to defend is reduced on that side. Midfielder Romao is in-front of them and sometimes successfully covers for the spaces left open.
Play-maker Valbuena is in good form, he made many key passes and dragged opponents after him whenever he didn’t had the ball. Striker Gignac was the one who scored the equalizer, he also moved around a lot and showed an increased playing appetite.
Opponents Rennes made a poor game last round against Toulouse (3-2). Even if they managed to score twice, Rennes were very weak offensively. Striker Toivonen scored again, only this time it was an own goal, play-maker Kadir simply has laughable performances, possible replacement Feret is still with the reserve team after being injured (remains to be seen if he will be called for this game), winger’s Alessandrini passes and attempts go far outside the stadium, and so on.
Winger Grosicki will return after missing last round, but he will be alone in-front of Marseille, as teammates aren’t really of much use.
Central defender Kana-Biyik will also return after being suspended, but even so, all players involved in the defensive phase proved to be slow and uninspired, starting with keeper Costil who was badly positioned for the entire game, and finishing with central midfielder Makoun who was easily overrun.
Rennes is getting closer to the relegation zone, while Marseille is getting further from the European places, so motivation is there for both sides, but only one has the ability to dominate the other and get an emotionless win. Marseille -0.75 at 2.01.
UPDATE: Rennes’ central defender Kana-Biyik received another round of suspension and will miss again. Central midfielder Kadir was left outside the squad (finally…)
Marseille: S.Mandanda, B.Samba – So.Diawara, Fanni, L.Mendes, Ben.Mendy, Nkoulou, J.Morel – Be.Cheyrou, Imbula, A.Ayew, Romao, Valbuena, Lemina – Gignac, Thauvin, Payet, Khalifa
Rennes: Ndiaye, Costil – Boye, Armand, Emerson, M’Bengue, Danzé, Kana-Biyik – Bakayoko, Doucouré, Makoun, Hunou, Alessandrini, Konradsen – Toivonen, Grosicki, Pitroipa, N.Oliveira